Inflight Emergency Causes F-16 to Drop 600-Gallon Fuel Tank into A Korean Lake

Considering how the Korean left went irrationally crazy about 20 gallons of formaldehyde that went through not one, but two water treatment plants before entering the Han River I can only imagine what they can dream up with 600 gallons of fuel dropped into this lake outside of Kunsan:

A U.S. fighter jet jettisoned its auxilliary fuel tanks into a lake near Kunsan Air Base after suffering an in-flight emergency during a training mission.

The pilot of the F-16, which was assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing, released the drop tanks Wednesday after receiving an indication of an oil system malfunction, a spokeswoman said

“The pilot safely executed the established emergency procedures, which included releasing the fuel tanks before landing unharmed,” Lt. Col. Michal Kloeffler-Howard said Friday in an email.

The tanks fell into a lake in an area owned by the Saemangeum Regional Environmental Office under the Ministry of Environment, about two miles west of Kunsan Air Base, the 7th Air Force public affairs officer said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read the rest at the link.

 

USFK Security Guard Believed to Have Committed Suicide While On Duty

This is the first time I have heard of something like this happening:

A 57-year-old South Korean security guard was found dead in an apparent suicide at a U.S. military base in Ujeongbu, South Korea, on Thursday, police said.

The officer, identified only by his last name Cha, was found with a gunshot wound in his head by a colleague at a guard post in the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, at around 1:20 a.m.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead.

In the 3.3-square-meter sentry post, a 45-caliber revolver provided by U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) for security purposes was found, they said. Cha was working alone when the incident took place.

He left what was seen as a suicide note at the site, referring to debts he was suffering from, according to police. Police said they will investigate the details of the incident based on testimonies from Cha’s colleagues and the bereaved family.  [Korea Times]

Apache Helicopter Conducts Emergency Landing In Rice Paddy In South Korea

So I wonder what the smoke was to cause him to do an emergency landing?:

An Apache helicopter made an emergency landing in a rice paddy south of Seoul on Wednesday evening as a precaution, after the pilot detected smoke in the cockpit.

No injuries or damages were reported, a 2nd Infantry Division spokesman said.

The crew did a systems check after landing the AH-64 helicopter in the city of Asan, Chungcheongnam-do province. Maintenance staff from Camp Humphreys also traveled to the site to inspect the aircraft but found nothing wrong, Lt. Col. Chris Hyde said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

MRAPs Coming to South Korea for the 2nd Infantry Division

Here are some new MRAPs that should soon be seen being used by the 2nd Infantry Division:

The Army is sending more than 100 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to South Korea to boost troop protection capabilities as tensions rise on the divided peninsula.

The decision is a reversal after a 2012 feasibility study found that MRAPs — famous for saving countless lives from roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan — weren’t suitable for maneuver battalions in South Korea.

The 8th Army says it began fielding MRAPs and smaller versions known as M-ATVs in late December and was on track to complete the deployment to multiple locations by the end of February.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Pokemon Go Craze Reaches Osan Airbase

If you are on Osan AB and see random people congregating and looking into their smartphones at certain locations this may be why:

Pokemon Go recently launched in South Korea, and the post office at Osan Air Base is one of the many Pokestops available to servicemembers there.

Serra said it’s not bad exercise either, but don’t expect the local sergeant major to cancel physical training anytime soon.

A quick stroll around Osan Air Base reveals Pokestops at the post office, Turumi Lodge and the officer’s club. Players who reach level 5 can challenge a level-7 gym at the Tuskegee Airman statue.

Military officials caution that common sense and military regulations still apply.

Bob McElroy, a spokesman for Camp Humphreys, said servicemembers are free to play across base but need to refrain from using the game where operational security or sensitivity is a concern.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Report Says Secretary Mattis to Keep General Brooks as USFK Commander

In this Yonhap article about Secretary Mattis’ recent visit to South Korea, there is blurb that states that General Vincent Brooks is likely to stay on as USFK commander:

Another military source said that during the visit, Mattis also expressed his confidence in the U.S. Forces Korea commander, Gen. Vincent Brooks, who was named under the Obama administration and is likely to continue in his current position after the recent administration change in the U.S.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but I hope General Brooks stays on since I believe he has done a great job as the USFK commander.  However, my concern is that President Trump is known for holding grudges and General Brooks did testify to Congress with information contrary to what President Trump claimed during his campaign.

Apache Helicopters Coming to Korea to Replace Retired Kiowas

The deployment of the Apache helicopters is supposed to be complete by October this year:

U.S. Forces Korea will deploy 24 Apache helicopters to South Korea as the allied forces face a growing threat from the North.

But the battalion will be temporarily split between two bases because a new parking apron hasn’t been completed, the military said Monday.

The scheduled rotational deployment of the AH-64D attack helicopters next month will replace 30 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, which are being retired.

Sixteen of the Apaches will be temporarily stationed at Suwon Air Base until a new parking apron is completed at Camp Humphreys, which will eventually house the bulk of U.S. forces as part of a long-delayed relocation from Seoul and bases to the north. The other eight will be at Camp Humphreys, according to the USFK public affairs office.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Report Claims US Special Ops Unit to Help Kill Kim Jong-un In A Crisis

Take it for what is worth, but unidentified sources are saying that US Special Operations Forces would participate in an operation to kill Kim Jong-un in case of conflict:

The South Korean Army is engaged in a special infiltration exercise in the East Sea on Aug. 6, 2016. (Yonhap)

– U.S. special operation forces are expected to participate in a South Korean-led operation to kill North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in the event of war, according to military sources Sunday.

“The South Korean military will form a special brigade based on that of the U.S. sometime later this year,” said a high-ranking government official on the condition of anonymity, adding that U.S. special agents are expected to be under Korean command during the operation.

“Although the brigade is modeled after that in the U.S., it will be tailored to the special environments of the peninsula,” he said.

The 1,000-2,000-strong unit is tasked with eliminating Pyongyang’s wartime command, including Kim Jong-un, and paralyzing its functions.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Camp Casey Soldiers Form 2ID Emblem

U.S. military base emblem made of soldiers

South Korean and U.S. soldiers form an emblem of U.S. military base Camp Casey in Dongducheon, 40 kilometers north of Seoul, on Dec. 21, 2016, as they prepare for the camp’s centennial anniversary next year. The camp turns 100 years old in October 2017. (Photo provided by the Korea-U.S. Combined Division) (Yonhap)

2nd Infantry Division Chemical Soldiers Train for North Korean WMD Response

What I found of most interest in this article is that US soldiers are training to look for North Korean “mad scientists”.  Wouldn’t this be something the ROK Army would be better equipped to do then having random patrols of US soldiers in North Korea trying to find these scientists?:

A soldier with the Fort Riley, Kan.-based 3rd Battalion, 66th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division crouches on a staircase during a drill at Rodriguez Live Fire Range, South Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. The exercise was held with the 501st CBRNE Company as part of training to increase the readiness of troops to confront threat of chemical and biological weapons and nuclear weapons.

The U.S. soldiers donned gas masks as they cleared building after building after receiving intelligence that North Korean scientists were cooking up chemical weapons in the vicinity.

They found the makeshift lab with beakers and tubes filled with a yellow substance in a room off the icy rooftop of a two-story brick building. It was time to call the 501st CBRNE Company (Technical Escort), a specialized unit trained to deal with weapons of mass destruction.

The scenario was part of a training exercise, but the dangers facing the soldiers stationed near the front lines of the divided peninsula are all too real.

North Korea has demonstrated alarming progress in its nuclear weapons program this year, with two underground atomic explosions and two dozen ballistic missile tests.

But the Stalinist state is believed to have vast stockpiles of other nasty stuff, too.

“North Korea has the full spectrum of all types of chemical and biological weapons … and they’ve weaponized all of it,” Lt. Col. Roberto Salas, commander of the 23rd Chemical Battalion, told Stars and Stripes.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.